Teachings, Lineage &
Practices of Dzogchen


Dzog-Chen, or the Great Perfection, is the essence of all the spiritual traditions of Tibet. Although it is not a religious or philosophical system, it has been incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism and is considered to be a complete and realistic means of achieving "internal awakening".





The Innermost Essence of the Mind
Discovering the Natural Freedom of the Mind
through the Practice of Dzogchen Rigpa

"Dzogchen is the primordial state, that state of total awakening that is the heart-essence of all the buddhas and all spiritual paths, and the summit of an individual's spiritual evolution. It is the final, ultimate and heart of the teaching of all the buddhas, and brings precise experiences of the awakened state." Sogyal Rinpoche

The practice of Dzogchen, or "Great Perfection," is the most ancient and direct stream of wisdom within the Buddhist tradition of Tibet. It is considered the very pinnacle of all teachings, and the most immediate path towards spiritual fulfilment. As a way in which to realize the innermost nature of the mind, Dzogchen is the clearest, most effective, and most relevant to the modern world. It is a path at once simple and profound, one that can be integrated with ordinary life and practiced anywhere.

The origins of Dzogchen are traced to the Primordial Buddha, Samantabhadra, from whom this remarkable heritage of wisdom has been transmitted from master to disciple in an unbroken lineage down to the present day. Sogyal Rinpoche, having been given the complete transmission and guided every step of the way, has been authorized by his masters as an authentic holder of these unique and precious teachings of Dzogchen.

Profound and tranquil, free from complexity,
Uncompounded luminous clarity,
Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas;
This is the depth of the mind of the buddhas.
In this, there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor anything that needs to be added.
It is merely the immaculate,
Looking naturally at itself.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Dzogchen can be explained in terms of Ground, Path and Fruition. The Ground of Dzogchen is our original nature, which is already perfect, always present and never subject to delusion. Yet the buddhas took one path and we took another. The buddhas recognize their original nature and become enlightened; we do not recognize that nature and so become confused. In the teachings, this is called "One Ground, Two Paths."

Our relative condition is that our intrinsic nature is obscured, and in order to free ourselves from delusion, we need to practise View, Meditation and Action: this is the Path of Dzogchen. Finally, to realize our original nature is to attain complete liberation and enlightenment. This is the Fruition of Dzogchen and is actually possible, if a practitioner really puts his or her heart and mind to it, in one lifetime.

Hand in hand with the Dzogchen teachings, Rinpoche may also continue the cycle of teachings on Bodhicitta from the past year, drawing from many sources including Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima's Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment.

Bodhicitta, the heart of the enlightened mind, is the spirit, source and root of the entire spiritual path. It is, in the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the highest form of altruism and the highest form of courage, the source of all spiritual qualities and the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha. In his 'Guide to the Bodhisattvas' Way of Life', Shantideva wrote:

It is the supreme elixir
That overcomes the sovereignty of death.
It is the inexhaustible treasure
That eliminates poverty in the world.
It is the supreme medicine
That quells the world's disease.
It is the tree that shelters all beings
Wandering and tired on the path of conditioned existence.
It is the universal bridge
That leads to freedom from unhappy states of birth.
It is the dawning moon of the mind
That dispels the torment of disturbing conceptions.
It is the great sun that finally removes
The misty ignorance of the world.

The great Dzogchen master Patrul Rinpoche would explain the entire path of training in bodhicitta with this famous verse:

O sublime, precious bodhicitta,
May it arise in those in whom it has not arisen.
May it never decline where it has arisen,
But go on increasing further and further!

In the special environment of retreat, Rinpoche will share these rare teachings, providing students with the opportunity to begin to learn, understand, practise and experience for themselves the natural freedom of the mind. Along with the main teachings, students will receive teachings and practice guidance at their level, for example on Meditation and Ngondro, to help them continue their training.

The Spiritual Care Education and Training Program will offer a series of sessions for healthcare professionals, trained hospice volunteers, family caregivers, and people coping with loss. CEU's for nurses are available. For more information see the Spiritual Care website at www.spcare.org or call (415) 392-2057.

Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized as the incarnation of Lerab Lingpa Terton Sogyal, a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama, by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most outstanding masters of the twentieth century. Jamyang Khyentse supervised Rinpoche's training and raised him like his own son. Rinpoche went on to study with many other masters, of all schools, especially Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. First as translator and aide to these masters, and then teaching in his own right, he travelled to many countries, observing the reality of people's lives, and searching how to translate the teachings so as to make them relevant to modern men and women, by drawing out their universal message while losing none of their authenticity, purity and power.

Out of this was born his unique style of teaching, and his ability to attune the teachings to modern life, demonstrated so vividly in his ground-breaking book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. A million and a half copies of this spiritual classic have been printed, in 26 languages and 54 countries. It has been adopted by colleges, groups and institutions, both medical and religious, and is used extensively by nurses, doctors and health care professionals. Rinpoche continues to travel widely in Europe, America, Australia and Asia, where he finds himself addressing thousands of people on his teaching tours and is a frequent speaker at major conferences.

Once there was a Dzogchen yogi who lived unostentatiously, surrounded, however, by a large following of disciples. A certain monk, who had an exaggerated opinion of his own learning and scholarship, was jealous of the yogi, whom he knew not to be very well read at all. He thought: “How does he, just an ordinary person, dare to teach? How dare he pretend to be a master? I will go and test his knowledge, show it up for the sham it is, and humiliate him in front of his disciples, so that they will leave him and follow me.”

One day he visited the yogi and said scornfully: “You Dzogchen bunch, is meditate all you ever do?”

The yogi’s reply took him completely by surprise: “What is there to meditate on?”

“You don’t even meditate then,” the scholar brayed triumphantly.

“But when am I ever distracted?” said the yogi.

There is a danger, called in the tradition “losing the Action in the View.” A teaching as high and powerful as Dzogchen entails an extreme risk. Deluding yourself that you are liberating your thoughts and emotions, when in fact you are nowhere near able to do so, and thinking that you are acting with the spontaneity of a true Dzogchen yogi, all you are doing is simply accumulating vast amounts of negative karma. As Padmasambhava says, and this is the attitude we all should have:

Though my View is as spacious as the sky,
My actions and respect for cause and effect are as fine as grains of flour.

Sogyal Rinpoche



The teachings and practice of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo, the Great Perfection, descend from two peerless eighth-century Indian Tantric masters, Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra, down through a distinguished lineage of learned and accomplished Tibetan masters as well as through visionary revelations. In the fourteenth century, the teachings merge in the omniscient Longchen Rabjam, the pre-eminent mind of the Ancient School (the Nyingmapas). This Dzogchen tradition is known as the Earlier Dzogchen Nyingthig (Heart-Essence). Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa was the spiritual heir of Longchen Rabjam (Gyalwa Longchenpa). In the eighteenth century he received the complete teachings and transmissions of Dzogchen Nyingthig in visions from Manjusrimitra (Jampel Shenyen), Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, and Gyalwa Longchenpa. In three clear visions of Longchenpa, Jigme Lingpa received the blessings of his incomparable guru inseparable from the primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo (in Sanskrit, Samantabhadra) and attained enlightenment. Gyalwa Longchenpa composed over two hundred works, some of which are still extant. Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa's illumined writings, such as Yonten Rinpoche Dzeu, contain the condensed essence of all of Gyalwa Longchenpa's inexhaustible instructions and commentaries, including Longchenpa's renowned Seven Treasures. In essence, these writings include all the innumerable Buddhadharmas.

The termas (rediscovered Dharma treasures)

Jigme Lingpa received on five (or seven) yellow scrolls as well as mystically, mind-to-mind, form the basis for the tradition known as Longchen Nyingthig, the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse. This is also known as the Later Dzogchen Nyingthig tradition. Details concerning Gyalwa Longchenpa, Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa, and the other forefathers of the Dzogchen lineage stemming from Samantabhadra and Garab Dorje are described in many other books and teachings. This chapter briefly describes the Longchen Nyingthig lineage as received and taught by Nyoshul Khenpo, Jamyang Dorje, descending from Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa in a continuous stream of blessings. This is the heart-essence of Omniscient Longchenpa and Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa, the extremely short and direct particular lineage of Longchen Nyingthig, the terma of Jigme Lingpa, the fresh breath of the dakinis, Dorje Sempa's vajra-shortcut.

First, a brief description of the general Dzogchen lineage (the long lineage or ringyu). This lineage descends from the primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo, Dorje Sempa, Garab Dorje, Jampel Shenyen, Sri Simha, Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, and Padma Sambhava, and includes numerous enlightened lamas who followed in their footsteps.

All this is chronicled in the long lineage of kahma. For the names of these root lineage lamas, see the lineage prayer by Nyoshul Khenpo entitled Osel Sangwa Nyingthig-gi Gyupai Soldeb Mutig Trengwa (The Luminous Secret Heart-Essence Pearl Rosary Lineage Prayer).

According to the general lineage of Dzogchen Nyingthig, between the eighth century Indian pandita Vimalamitra and Longchenpa there were one dozen exalted root lineage holders, and between Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa there were fourteen. This considers only the main lineage holders, not the other accomplished ones who accompanied them. This long lineage of Dzogpa Chenpo thus descends from the primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo, from teacher to student, in an unbroken stream through today.


For ordinary individuals, Buddhahood seems very far away indeed. However, for Dzogchen practitioners it is not so very difficult. All other paths, both within and outside of Buddhism, are like the preliminaries for Dzogpa Chenpo, the Peak Vehicle. Dzogpa Chenpo includes all the other ways and teachings and is complete in itself. All other Dharmas find completion in it and lead to it like rivers emptying into the great sea. Other Dharmas have conflicting viewpoints; Dzogchen resolves them all. Dzogpa Chenpo is the extremely short, swift, direct path to total enlightenment in this lifetime. It is without great hardships. Other paths are like roads leading to a distant house; Dzogchen is like being in that house. This amrita-like Dzogchen Mengak Nyengyud of the Vidyadhara (Rigpa-Holding)

Lineage is the most precious and refined essential quintessence of all possible teachings. It allows us to perceive the most subtle levels of how things are and how everything actually manifests and makes it possible for us to swiftly become totally realized, fully awakened, free. If we practice it now, there will certainly be immense benefits for Westerners everywhere in the future.

There are infinite subtle and profound detailed explanations about all the Buddhist teachings and about Dzogchen too, but it all depends on meditation practice. That is the most essential thing.

One must experience the teachings for oneself and present one's own experience, understanding, or realization to a realized master, one's own kind teacher, in order to receive the master's assessment and advice. The teacher cannot simply present realization to you. But an authentic, qualified Dzogchen master can easily guide a suitable disciple in the nyongtri manner to the attainment of supreme accomplishment without many hardships or detailed teachings and intellectual explanations and study. All the teachings will be included in those indispensable personal pith-instructions. Therefore, one should rely totally on that.

Gyalwa Longchenpa says about Dzogpa Chenpo: "It is in perfect accord with all teachings, and is supreme." It is the purpose of this Dzogchen practice to clearly establish a View that leads directly to realizing that the very nature of one's own mind is the absolute nature. We must not be satisfied with mere intellectual understanding or knowledge about it. That will not free or liberate us. We must develop great, unshakable, inner certainty concerning that fundamental intrinsic nature. All the various practices are the means to developing, progressing, and stabilizing that certainty.

This simple yet profound practice, connected with trekchod (cutting through) meditation, is explained in Patrul Rinpoche's Tsiksum Nedek (Three Vital Points Which Strike the Essence).

Even if Gyalwa Longchenpa or the primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo were to appear suddenly before us in a marvelous vision of rainbow light, that would be nothing compared to having before us Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Chatral Rinpoche, living Buddhas like Padma Sambhava himself, who can speak Dzogpa Chenpo directly into our ears. These great teachers are the peerless living lineage-holders embodying all the deities, teachers, and teachings.

http://www.dzogchen.org/library/bios/dzogchen-lineage.htm - This excerpt is taken from Natural Great Perfection: Spontaneous Songs and Dzogchen Teachings by Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche and Surya Das (copyright 1995, Snow Lion Publications).

The Nyingma Tradition - Padmasambhava

The Nyingma (ancient) school of Tibetan or Vajrayana Buddhism was founded in the eighth century by the great enlightened Indian tantric master Padmasambhava, "the second Buddha," and is the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelugpa).

Its teachings, transmissions and lineage of enlightened masters have continued unbroken to this day. At the heart of the Nyingma tradition is the practice of Dzog Chen, the most ancient and direct stream of wisdom within the teachings of Buddhism.

Mipham Rinpoche (1846-1912), one of Tibet's greatest scholars and masters, wrote: Crowning the banner of the complete teaching of the Buddha, is the beautiful ornament of the clear light teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo. Through practising and realizing these teachings, tens of thousands of beings have become enlightened.

Although the Nyingmapa school is the oldest tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, its Dzog Chen teachings are the clearest, most effective and relevant to the needs of beings today. Untouched by the sometimes tragic events in Tibetan history, the Dzog Chen teachings have been passed down in an unbroken line from the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, teacher to student, to this day, in all their freshness, immediacy, and power.

"Dzog Chen is a state, the primordial state, the state of total awakening that is the heart essence of all the Buddhas and all spiritual paths, the summit of an individual beings spiritual evolution."

Dzog Chen can only be understood and fully realized with the direct guidance of a qualified and experienced Dzog Chen master. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche is such a being, an emanation of the great Dzog Chen master Vimalamitra. The Palyul Lineage Mingyur Dorje In Tibet, there were six mother monasteries which upheld the Nyingma tradition. In eastern Tibet, the foremost of these was the glorious Palyul. The land the monastery is situated on was blessed by many great saints and bodhisattvas and it was during the time of the great vidyadhara Kuzang Sherab that the Palyul tradition was established and the monastery known as Palyul Namgyal Changchub Choling became one of the major Nyingma monastic institutions.

see also page on Nyingmapa tradition

Excerpts from Tibetan Book of Living & Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

"Dzogchen is the primordial state, that state of total awakening that is the heart-essence of all the buddhas and all spiritual paths, and the summit of an individual's spiritual evolution. It is the final, ultimate and heart of the teaching of all the buddhas, and brings precise experiences of the awakened state." Sogyal Rinpoche

Profound and tranquil, free from complexity,
Uncompounded luminous clarity,
Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas;
This is the depth of the mind of the buddhas.
In this, there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor anything that needs to be added.
It is merely the immaculate,
Looking naturally at itself.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Rest in natural great peace
This exhausted mind Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought,
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Excerpt: p160:


What then is meditation in Dzogchen? It is simply resting undistracted in the View, once it has been introduced.

Dudjom Rinpoche describes it: "Meditation consists of being attentive to such a state of Rigpa, free from mental constructions, whilst remaining fully relaxed, without any distraction or grasping. For it is said that 'Meditation is not striving, but naturally becoming assimilated to it.'"

The whole point of Dzogchen meditation practice is to strenghten and stabilize Rigpa, and allow it to grow to full maturity. The ordinary habitual mind with its projections is extremely powerful. It keeps returning, and takes hold of us easily when we are inattentive or distracted. As Dudjom Rinpoche used to say, "At present our Rigpa is like a little baby, stranded on the battlefield of stong arising thoughts." I like to say we have to begin by babysitting our RIgpam in the secure environment of meditation.

If meditation is simply to continue the flow of Rigpa after the introduction, how do we know when it is Rigpa and when it is not? I asked Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche this question, and he replied with his characteristic simplicity: "If you are in an unaltered state, it is Rigpa."

If we are not contriving or manipulating the mind in any way, but simply resting in an unaltered state of pure and pristine awareness, then that is Rigpa. If there is any contriving on our part or any kind of manipulating or grasping, it is not.l Rigpa is a state in which there is no longer any doubt; there is no really a mind to doubt: You see directly. If you are in this state, a complete, natural certainty and confidence surge up with the Rigpa itself, and that is how you know.

The tradition of Dzogchen is one of extreme precision, since the deeper you go, the subtler the deceptions that can arise, and what is at stake is the knowledge of absolute reality. Even after the introduction, the masters clarify in detail the states that are not Dzogchen meditation and must not be confused with it. In one of these states you drift into a noman's land, where there are no thoughts or memories; it is dark, dull, indifferent state, where you are plunged onto the ground of the ordiary mind. In a second state there is some stillness and slight clarity, but the state of stillness is a stagnant one, still buried in the ordinary mind. In a third you experience an absence of thoughts, but are 'spaced out' in a vacant state of wonder. In a fourth you mind wanders away, hankering after thoughts and projections. None of these are the true state of meditation, and the practitioner has to watch out skillfully to avoid being deluded in these ways.

The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsualted by these four points:

Clearly it takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen.

Perhaps the most important point is that Dzogchen meditation comes to be a continual flow of Rigpa, like ariver constantly moving day and night without any interuption. This is of course, is an ideal state, for this undistracted resting in the View, once it has been introduced and recognized, is the reward of years of sustained practice.


The Four Faults:

Why is it that people should find it so difficult even to conceive the depth and glory of the nature of mind? Why does it seem to many such an outlandish and improbable idea?

The teachings speak of four faults, which prevent us from realizing the nature of mind right now

1. The nature of minds is too close to be recognized. Just as we are unable to see our own face, mind finds it difficult to look into it's own nature.

2. It is too profound for us to fathom. We have no idea how deep it could be; if we did, we would have already, ta a certain extent, realized it.

3. It is too easy for us to believe. In reality all, we need do is simply to rest in the naked, pure awareness of the nature of mind, which is always present.

4. It is too wonderful for us to accomodate, The sheer immensity of it is too vast to fit into our narrow way of thinking. We just can't believe it. Nor can we possibly imagine that enlightenment is the real nature of our minds.



In Buddhism we establish whether a teacher is authentic by whether or not the guidance he or she is giving accords with the teachings of the Buddha. It cannot be stressed too often that it is truth of the teaching which is all-important, and never the personality of the teacher. This is why Buddha reminded us in the "Four reliances":

Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;
Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;
Rely on the real meaning, not just the provisional one;
Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental mind.

So it is important to remember that the true teacher, as we shall see, is the spokesman of the truth: its compassionate "wisdom display." All the buddhas, masters, and prophets, in fact are the emanation of this truth, appearing in countless skillful, compassionate guises in order to guide us through their teachin, back to our true nature. At first then, more important than finding the teacher is through making a connection with the truth of the teaching, for it is through making a connection with the truth of the teaching that you will discover your living connection with a master.

Preliminary Practices - Ngondro - pp154-55

For the masters introduction to be fully effective however the right conditions or environment. Only a few special individuals in history, because of their purified karma, have been able to recognize and become enlightened in an instant; and so the introduction must always be preceded by the following preliminaries. It is these preliminaries that purify and peel away the ordinary mind and bring you to the state where in your Rigpa can be revealed to you.

First meditation, the supreme antidote to distraction, brings the mind home and enables it to settle into it's natural state.

Second, deep practices of purification, and the strengthening the positive karma through the accumulation of merit and wisdom, start to wear away and dissolve the emotional and intellectual veils that obscure the nature of mind. As my master Jamyang Khentse wrote:

"If the obscurations are removed, the wisdom of one's own Rigpa will naturally shine."

These purification practices, called Ngondro in Tibetan, have been skillfully designed to effect a comprehensive inner transformation. They involve the entire being - body, speech, and mind - and begin with a series of deep contemplations on:

These reflections inspire a strong sense of "renunciation," an urgent desire to emerge from samsara and follow the path of liberation, which forms the foundation for the specific practices of

All these practices build up to and center around Guru Yoga, which is the most crucial, moving and powerful practice of all, indispensable for the opening the heart and mind to the realization of the state of Dzogchen.

Third, a special meditative investigation into the nature of mind exhausts the mind's restless hunger for thinking and research, and its dependence on analysis, and references, and awakens a personal realization of the nature of emptiness.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important these preliminaries are. They have to work hand in hnad systematically, to inspire the student to awaken the nature of mind, and to enable the student to be ready and prepared when the master chooses the time to show himor her the original face of Rigpa.

Source: Above excerpts from "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying ~Sogyal Rinpoche Rider Paperback - 7 May, 1998 - Paperback - 440 pages new edition (7 May, 1998) Rider; ISBN: 0712671390 (read more - amazon.co.uk)

Rigpa.org invite you to read excerpts from the following chapters of THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

'Five Capacities necessary for the practice of Zogqen' by Namkhai Norbu

1. Participation

This means that one must have the desire to hear and understand the teaching. But more than this, it means that one activity gives one's full cooperation to participating with the master. It is not just that the master explains, and there is nothing required on the part of the disciple.

2. Diligence

This means that one must be consistent in one's participation, and not waver in one's commitment, changing one's mind from day to day, continually putting off something.

3. Present Awareness

This means that one must not become distracted. One must remain present in the moment, every moment. It is no good knowing all the theory of the teaching, but still living distractedly just the same

4. Actual Practice

One must actually enter into contemplation. It is not sufficient just to know how to practice, one must actually enter into practice. This is to enter into the practice of wisdom.

5. Prajna

Prajna is sanskrit, means literally 'superknowledge'. Here (as listed in 'Five Capacities necessary for the practice of Zogqen) the sense of it is that one must have sufficient capacity of intelligence to understand what one is taught, and sufficient intuitive capacity to see, and enter into, that which is pointed beyond the words of the teachings. This is to enter into wisdom itself.

This prajna is not of course just an intellectual knowledge. As I have often repeated, my master Jyanqub Dorje, for example, never received an intellectual education; yet his wisdom and the qualities that arose from it were nevertheless quite remarkable. He would sit every day in the enclosed courtyard in front of his house to receive those who came to see him for spiritual or medical advice. He had never actually studied medicine, but his medical knowledge had manifested spontaneously from the great clarity that had arisen from his state of contemplation, and such was his skill as a healer that people came from far and wide to be treated by him. I learned about this clarity at first hand through participating in a process that was another extraordinary manifestation of it.

Source: The Crystal and the Way of Light -Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, The Teachings of Namkhai Norbu

1. The BASE - The primordial State or Base (Xi) of every individual

2. The PATH - lam

3. Realization or The FRUIT (Drasbu)

Source: The Crystal and the Way of Light -Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, The Teachings of Namkhai Norbu

9. Atiyoga:

: Atiyoga is a means to liberate the meaning of primordial Buddhahood into its own state, and it is the nature of freedom from abandonments and acceptances and expectations and fears. The six million four hundred verses of Atiyoga scriptures are divided into three divisions by Jampal Shenyen.

These divisions are:

The first two of these were introduced into Tibet by Vairochana; the third by Vimalamitra. Those teachings that were originally transmitted by Padmasambhava and then hidden in various places in Tibet are also part of the Series of Secret Instructions. This kind of text, known as "terma" (gter ma) or "treasures," began to be rediscovered from the 13th century onwards. Those texts which, on the other hand, were transmitted orally from the time of Garab Dorje onwards, are known as the "oral tradition" (bka' ma).

There are two major categories of training in Mengagde:

(a). Thregchod (Cutting Through): there are four stages of realizations through meditation: dwelling, unmoving, equalness, and spontaneity.

(b). Thodgal (the Direct Approach): there six crucial means of training, the four visions arise gradually. The four visions are: the direct realization of Ultimate Nature, development of Experiences, perfection of Intrinsic Awareness, and Dissolution of phenomena into the Ultimate Nature.

Thodgal is for breaking out of the cycle of existences (samsara) by directly experience of "naked," or "ordinary," mind, which is the basis of all activities of consciousness. In addition to approaches of this kind that are oriented toward emptiness and intended to be applied without goal-oriented effort, Thregchod places the emphasis on the clear light aspect of primordial knowledge. Their goal is realization of the "rainbow body," i.e., the dissolution of the physical body that is, of the four elements that constitute the body into light.

Year 1. Ngondrö

As the foundation of the teachings of the Buddha Dharma, the retreat course begins with the preliminary practices, which focus on the purification of the Outer Doors (Body and Speech). Ngondrö consists of contemplation, insight, purification, offering and devotion practices. His Holiness will offer Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows, Vajrasattva and Guru Rinpoche empowerments ("wangs"), fully qualifying retreatants to undertake Ngondrö practice. Either His Holiness or Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso will offer the transmission or "lung" of the actual practice TEXT. You will have the opportunity to receive clear explanations into the details of actually engaging in the practice ("tri"). You will also have the chance to engage in the actual practices with His Holiness, with Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso and with the sangha of monks on many occasions.

Year 2. Tsa Lung

After completing Ngondrö, the next step is to work with the breath and the positive and negative channels. The Tsa Lung practice is considered secret and should not be spoken about. As a result, those wishing admittance to this retreat must: 1) have completed their Ngondrö accumulations; 2) have special permission resulting from an interview with His Holiness or Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso; and 3) be able to participate in the whole month-long retreat. The traditional signs of accomplishment, the generation of inner heat, will be measured at this retreat. Retreatants should be prepared to participate in a lot of physical activity. They should also be prepared in the event that His Holiness requests them to repeat Ngondrö teachings and accumulations. This should not be viewed as a failure but as a great blessing. It is also not unusual to be asked to repeat. In the average class of monks in Namdroling Monastery, more than two-thirds are requested to repeat Ngondrö accumulations. One-month commitment required.

Year 3 - Dzogchen Tögyal

The complete explanation of these practices is only given from a master to a student when the student has made a wholehearted commitment to the teachings and has manifested a level of realization at which point these teachings are appropriate. With the practice of Trekchö, one cuts through delusion with diamond-like thoroughness. When this has been thoroughly accomplished, the master will introduce Tögyal, a Dzogchen practice through which, via the posture and the gaze, one works directly with the light inherent in all phenomena using specific practices to reveal it within him or herself. Both of these practices are indispensable for a deep understanding of what occurs in the between states that arise after death. These practices can only be achieved through receiving the inspiration and blessing from a living master who has realized them.

Year 4 - Shying Kham Nga Chyang

The five sense purification which encompasses instructions on purifying through:

a) sparkling of lights in which all impure phenomenon dissolves into pure appearance;

b) meditating within the state of darkness until the Buddha fields appear;

c) using the meditation practice that purifies sound until the sounds of the Pure Land are heard.

Subsequent Years.

After completing the Purification of the Five Senses, the actual practical transmission union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen begins. At this point, the instructions the individual needs are received from the Spiritual Teacher through examination and personal instruction. Through this thorough process, you have the chance to become naturally self-realizing. At death, practitioners who have realized these practices manifest as clear light filling the pristine sky while their bodies transform into a rainbow, a phenomenon known as "Jalu," or achieving the rainbow body. Thus the significance of practicing the non-dual Mahamudra & Dzogchen has helped hundreds of thousands of beings attain the state of enlightenment. To these days the transmission and the lineage still exist unbroken in Palyul tradition and thus this is a tremendous opportunity to learn these practices.

above from Palyul organisation. HH Penor Rinpoche

There is a little book by Namkhai Norbu, "Dzog Chen and Zen" - Blue
Dolphin Publishing.

"Thus one can understand that the principle method of Zen is a way
to find yourself in the absolute condition. This principle is a common
element between Chinese Buddhism and Dzogchen. But you must not therefore
think that they are the same thing. You must never forget that the two
methods are different. We have already spoken of one as they way of self-
liberation and the other as the path of renunciation. From the beginning, in
principle, these two methods are very different." And Namkhai Norbu also discusses a bit on Tantra as a path of
transformation and compares and also includes a bit of history saying that "the history that does exist has its origins in Bon".

Excerpt from Dzogchen Mailing list (Submitted by Joyce)

ENGLAND – Sunday 17th November
A one-day teaching on Tor-szo Kar-gyen (Ritual Craft).
Restricted to Students who have previously attended teachings such as Ngon-dro, Ma-gyud, and Tse-drub Jha-ri Ma. In addition to Rinpoche’s presence, we hope Lama Sonam Gyal-tsen Rinpoche will be able to honour our invitation to teach us on the day.
Venue: Khyid-khar Rhi-zhing Ling, Tibetan Temple, Bushey
Cost: TBA, please contact organisers.
Please Contact: Penny Davies - Um-zey (Prayer Leader) – Tel: (01296) 429956, Email: Tashipenny@aol.com

Friday 29th November. Evening Public talk / teaching on
‘Phowa – a Matter of Life and Death.’
Venue: Compass Centre, Chichester.

Saturday 30th November - Sunday 1st December.
Weekend of Teachings on Nying-po Nam-soom (The Three Essences).
Venue: Compass Centre, Chichester.
Please Contact: Peter Haigh, Tel: - (01243)-513897 E.mail: Haighs@beeb.net

This section relates to the retreats which Khemsar Rinpoche will be running at various locations throughout the year and gives a brief outline as to content.


During this retreat, Rinpoche will be teaching Zhi-ney (Abiding in the Tranquil State) and giving an introduction to Zog-chen (The Great Completion).

Zog-chen, the practice of the nature of the mind, is the supreme and most esoteric practice of Tibet’s Yungdrung Bön spiritual tradition and, it is said that, by engaging in this practice, it is possible to attain enlightenment in this very lifetime.

It is believed that there are three paths to Enlightenment:

Zog-chen is the path of Liberation, or the ‘Direct Path,’ since through it, one neither has to renounce nor transform one’s negative experiences but can simply liberate them by applying Ta-gom-Chhöd Soom (the View, Meditation and Characteristic Behaviour) of Zog-chen thus freeing oneself from Samsara (the Cycle of Existences). Through Drol-lam, it is possible to realise Jalu Wö-ku Chen-po (the Great Rainbow Light Body) in this very life and body. In order to do this, one has to be introduced to the Natural State of the Mind – the state of absolute knowledge, which exists as a potentiality in all sentient beings. Rinpoche stresses that the aim of our meditation practices is to reach Treg-chöd Meditation (cutting through illusionary resistance), which is a Zog-chen Practice. To graduate to this stage, one must take progressive steps commencing with Zhi-ney, Nyam-zhak, Lhak-thong etc.

During this retreat, Rinpoche will provide ‘keys’ to open the door to the natural state of the mind – a major key being through Zhi-ney (Abiding in the Tranquil State) - the first rung on the aforementioned meditation ladder. This is a form of meditation which creates a stable mind capable of focusing single-pointedly on emptiness or any other phenomenon. The nature of Zhi-ney will be explained in depth and Rinpoche will lead the participants through each of the various stages of this practice – ensuring that all participants are given ample opportunity to practice and perfect the techniques. Rinpoche is keen to impress upon participants that once the teachings have been imparted to the individual, it is incumbent upon him or her to practise them regularly if full benefit is to be obtained and one is to become acquainted with the natural state of the mind.

Rinpoche emphasises that traditionally, the ultimate teachings of Zog-chen are imparted only to those individuals whose mind streams are sufficiently ripened to benefit from them, since there is little point in pouring clean water into a dirty or cracked vessel where it is likely to be sullied or leak out. Thus it is necessary for the practitioner to ensure that his or her ‘vessel’ is clean and intact. He therefore generally restricts the Zhi-ney and Zog-chen teachings to those who have received and are practising Ngon-dro (Foundation Teachings) since these are the foundations upon which all the other teachings are built – thus it is essential to ensure that these foundations are strong and capable of supporting further ‘building’. This is done through regular practice. Without this, it would be like building a house on a frozen lake. When the ice melts…!!!!!

Recognising that not all participants may have had access to Ngon-dro teachings, from either himself or another Lama, Rinpoche has kindly agreed to permit people who fit into this category to participate in the retreat provided they sign an AGREEMENT to attend and practise Ngon-dro teachings prior to, or following upon, this retreat. By making this proviso, he is fulfilling his duty as a Lama to try to ensure that those who study with him are fully equipped to make progress in their studies and practices and that the seeds which are scattered do not simply fall on stony ground.

In these modern times, Rinpoche has noted that there is a tendency for people – especially in the western world – to demand immediate gratification. With this in mind, he is understandably concerned lest people view Zog-chen as a ‘quick fix’ to instant enlightenment and emphasises that, if the planted seed is to grow to fruition, it requires to be tended, nourished and watered with care – thus regular practice is essential. Neglect to do this, he says, results in puny – if any – growth. Yes, through Zog-chen it is possible to attain Enlightenment in this life-time, however, he suggests that we should remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare, where they both set off from the same starting point, but it was the slow and steady approach of the tortoise which resulted in him reaching the goal first – and still in this life-time.

Finally, Rinpoche says, "We have Zog-chen practitioners in Tibet who have no idea what they are doing, but are expert at talking about Zog-chen. Such people are called ‘Zog-chen kha-jangpa’! "– in other words, they know the theory, but are all talk and no practice. They thus merely delude themselves and thereby impede their own progress.


related books:

Dzogchen Books

Dzogchen Dalai Lama, Geshe Thupten Jinpa, Richard Barron, Patrick Gaffney (Editor) (read

For the first time, the great Dalai Lama shares his insights into Dzogchen, the core of the ancient Nyingma tradition within Tibetan Buddhism, offering readers a rare inside look at this much-revered form of meditation.

Natural Great Perfection: Spontaneous Songs and Dzogchen Teachings by Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche and Surya Das (copyright 1995, Snow Lion Publications).

Dzogchen : The Self-Perfected State ~Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, et al (Read more

Firstly, this is not necessarily an easy book for those who have no experience of meditation or contemplation - I have been practising Taoist water method meditation and chi gung for some years. The Dzogchen path is quite beyond fixed concepts and as such it can (much like the essence of Taoism) be hard to 'get a grip' on. Nevertheless, Namkhai Norbu's humour and clarity shine through in this book and he actually communicates something quite indefinable in this work. For those who are serious about pursuing greater clarity and awareness, buy this book, let go of your intellect, read it, and you will see what I mean. I for one intend to study personally with Namkhai Norbu at the earliest opportunity. A gem.

As It Is Vol 1 Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche Our Price: £16.50

As It Is Vol 2 Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche Our Price: £16.50 (UK

Spiritual instruction, primarily selected from talks on tantra and dzogchen given by the late Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche during the last two years of his life. The emphasis in this volume is on the completion stage and practices associated with it, particularly non-conceptual meditation. As the author says. "The difference between buddhas and sentient beings is that sentient beings are busy fabricating."

Based on the fundamental Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud, a Bon text, the author presents the main points of Dzogchen, its relation to various systems within Bon, and some reflections on Dzogchen in the West. Although the Dzogchen teachings are principally familiar to Westerners through the teachings of the Nyingma school, they also survive in the ancient Bon religion of Tibet. In offering these teachings Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche provides the reader with a vivid and engaging portrait of Bon culture as he interweaves the teachings with his personal life story. "This book will be of great help to readers wishing to find a clear explanation of the Bon tradition, especially with regard to its presentation of the teachings of Dzogchen." The Dalai Lama.

SELF-LIBERATION THROUGH SEEING WITH NAKED AWARENESS trans. & comm. by John Myrdhin Reynolds, fore. by Namkhai Norbu 172 pp., 4 line drawings, glossary, biblio., index


Naked Awareness by Karma-Chags-Med, et al (Paperback) Average Customer Review: (read more - US - UK - )This is a 17th-century presentation of the union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen by Karma Chagme, one of the greatest partiarchs of Tibetan Buddism


Tantric Buddhism, Vajrayana, Mahamudra

Clear Light of Bliss ~Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Usually dispatched in 1-2 weeks Tharpa Publications Hardcover - September 1992 (read more

This is an explanation of the advanced practices of Vajrayana Buddhism, the supreme path to enlightenment taught by Buddha. The book provides a detailed and practical explanation of the completion stage practices of Tantric Mahamudra, from the initial meditation on our subtle body, through the stages of inner fire meditation and the four joys, to the final attainment of full enlightenment. The author also gives explanations of the nature of the mind, how to develop meditative concentration, and how to meditate on emptiness, the ultimate nature of reality.

Gates to Buddhist Practice, Chagdud Tulku (UK


Meditation on Emptiness Jeffrey Hopkins, Elizabeth Napper (Editor) (read more)

The Taboo of Subjectivity B. Alan Wallace (read more

This title focuses on the relation between science and religion. The author argues that for its adherents, scientific naturalism has taken on the role of an ersatz religion, with scientism functioning as the fundamentalist branch of that creed. A former Buddhist monk, Wallace brings to bear the ideas of Buddhism about the ultimate non-duality of subject and object. He argues that the inquiry into the nature of consciousness can greatly profit by incorporating some of the methods of the great contemplative traditions of the world, including that of the Christian West. This book is intended for scholars and students of religion, psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

Indestructible Truth : The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism Reginald A. Ray (read more)


Essence With the Elixir of Enlightenment : The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization by A. H. Almaas (Paperback - March 1998)

Doing Nothing : Coming to the End of the Spiritual Search by Steven Harrison US

Tsongkhapa's Six Yogas of Naropa by Tson-Kha-Pa Blo-Bzan-Grags-Pa, Glenn H. Mullin (Illustrator) (US

These six yogas - inner heat, illusory body, clear light, consciousness transference, forceful projection, and the bardo yoga - represent one of the most popular Tibetan Buddhist presentations of yoga. Given by the Indian sage Naropa to Marpa, these teachings gradually pervaded thousands of monasteries and hermitages throughout the Tibetan cultural region. Although the six yogas are best known within the Kagyu tradition, the Gelugpa founder Lama Tsong Khapa`s commentary is regarded as one of the finest on the subject to come out of Tibet and this treatise has served as the fundamental guide to the system. Glenn Mullin`s study of the history, substance and philosophical legacy of the six yogas of Naropa, together with his translation of Tsong Khapa`s treatise, provides an authoritative guide to this tradition.

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, Trudy Dixon (Editor) (Paperback - March 1988)

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path of Enlightenment by Tson-Kha-Pa Blo-Bzan-Grags-Pa, et al (Hardcover)

Calm Abiding & Special Insight : Achieving Spiritual Transformation Through Meditation (Textual Studies and Translations in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism) by Geshe Gedun Lodro, et al (Paperback - September 1998)

Realizing Emptiness : The Madhyamaka Cultivation of Insight by Gen Lamrimpa, et al (Paperback - May 1999) (US -

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way : Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika by Nagarjuna, Jay L. Garfield (Translator) - Garfield asserts in this book that Nagarjuna's goal was to refute the view of extremism of the Sarvastidas (All exists) and the other side of Nihilism (Nothing exists), proposing a Middle Way position. Pointing out the Two Truths of reality; Absolute Truth and Conventional Truth, Nagarjuna uses the Emptiness (shunyata) doctrine to show the reader upon examination that phenomena (both mental and physical) are empty of inherent-exitestence, but also that they are NOT non-existent (they exist within the Absolute Truth). Through these Examination one will obtain insight into the relativity of concepts and phenomena.

Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas: A Buddhist Psychology of Emptiness by David R. Komito, Geshe S. Rinchen (Translator)


related links:

Mangala Shri Bhuti


http://www.dzogchen.org/library/bios/dzogchen-lineage.htm - THE DZOGCHEN LINEAGE OF NYOSHUL KHENPO by Surya Das - This excerpt is taken from Natural Great Perfection: Spontaneous Songs and Dzogchen Teachings by Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche and Surya Das (copyright 1995, Snow Lion Publications).

Dzogchen Monastery - Tibet - Dzogchen Monastery is one of the Six Great Seats of the Nyingma, or Old Translation School of Tibetan Buddhism, namely Orgyen Mindroling and Thubten Dorje Drak from Central Tibet; Dzogchen Orgyen Samten Chöling and Shechen Tennyi Dhargyeling from Eastern Tibet; and Khatok Dorje Den and Palyul Namgyal Jangchubling from Lower Eastern Tibet. These major seats have for centuries been important institutions in Tibet for the studies and practices through which the Nyingma School has been continued until the present day. Together with many hundreds of branch monasteries, they have kept alive the unbroken lineage of Guru Padmasambhava, who brought the teachings of Buddha from India to Tibet in the eighth century.


B. Alan Wallace - Video podcasts, courses and teachings



Dzogchen Centres

The Vajra world is a realm of indestructibility, of reality beyond all thought and imagination that only the fully-realized person can inhabit. Chogyam Trungpa

as you know yahoo is planning to make its services fee based so i have installed a buddhism forum at http://www.cyberdistributeur.com/yabbse/index.php

which will of course remain free of charge,enjoy !





By the way, most of you must know about that Dzog-chen master who is
a soccer fan and a film maker, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, author of
"The Cup", a film telling about the passion for futbol of a few young
monks in a traditional DC monastery in Buthan !

Related pages:


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